This stuffed milkfish or 'Rellenong Bangus' is for those who like fish but not the fishbones. It is also cooked in the oven so no oil splatters from frying and less oil.
Bangus or milkfish is notoriously known for having a lot of fish bones. They are also known to make a lot of splatters when fried. Therefore, for those who love milkfish but not all the things I mentioned above, this Rellenong Bangus recipe is the perfect one for you!
What is Rellenong Bangus?
Rellyenong (also "relyeno") Bangus is a stuffed milkfish that is normally fried to a golden crisp. It is commonly serves at special events or occasions as the process involved in making it may not be the easiest or quickest. But it is not that difficult at all.
The meat is, first, separated from the skin and removed while the fish is still raw or uncooked. This has to be done without breaking the skin of the fish. It is then seasoned and cooked with vegetables and spices. It is then stuffed back and the whole milkfish is then fried, or in this case, baked.
How to skin a whole fish?
Warning! The following images contain graphic content! Hehe! Here I am trying my best to illustrate how I removed the fish meat keeping the skin whole and intact.
- Remove scales by using a blunt knife. Remove the guts and intestines through the top opening. Remove the gills as well. Wash and pat dry with a paper towel.
- Tilt the fish head up, snapping the spine in the process. Break also the bone at the bottom near the tail.
- Insert a spatula in between the meat and skin through the opening to separate the meat from the skin. Move it up and down and around inside the skin. Don't worry the skin is tougher than you think and will not break so easily.
- If correctly done, the meat should come out when the bone is pulled out from the opening. If not just push the meat out.
Fried vs. Baked
I for one have an aversion to frying milkfish, well to anything that involves frying actually and you can understand that if you notice the big scar on my right hand on my videos. I share this scar with my mama as we were both in same kitchen accident some ancient years ago that involves frying (chicken). But the fear of oil splatters is still there.
So, since I hate frying, I baked my Rellenong Bangus instead and I think this will be how it is for me from now on. Not only was it painless it is also more practical since I do not have a frying pan that will fit the whole milkfish in
In mood for more fish recipes? Try these:
Rellenong Bangus (Stuffed Milkfish)
- 1 medium or big milkfish / bangus
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon lemon - or calamansi juice
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 medium onion - - chopped
- 2 big cloves garlic - - minced
- 1 small carrots - - cut into small cubes
- 1 small potato - - cut into small cubes or ½ cup green peas
- 1 small green bell pepper - - cut into small cubes
- ¼ cup raisins
- 2 tablespoons pickle relish
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1-2 tablespoons water - (if needed)
- ¼ cup flour
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon oil - - for brushing
- Prepare the milkfish as indicated in the instructions above. Place the fish skin on a plate or small bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and lemon or calamansi juice and marinade until ready to use.
- Place fish meat in a pot or pan and add a little water. Bring it to boil and cook until the meat is done. Drain water and transfer to a plate and remove the fishbones.
- Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Saute garlic and onions until limp and aromatic. Add carrots and potatoes and cook for 3 minutes.
- Add the fish meat, bell pepper, raisins, pickle relish, soy sauce and tomato paste. Season with salt if needed. Cook for another 3-5 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Add the flour and mix then the egg and mix again until well blended.
- Fill the marinated skin with the mixture and then place the stuffed milkfish on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Brush both sides with oil and bake at 200°C/400°F for 10-15 minutes each side or until skin turns crisp and golden brown.
- You may also fry the fish instead of baking it.
This recipe was originally published in September 2017. Updated in July 2020 to include new photos, more tips, and a recipe video.